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Boric gives human rights-focused UN speech

President Gabriel Boric gave a 20-minute speech at the UN General Assembly in New York. He alluded to Salvador Allende, condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and advocated peaceful solutions to social tensions. Boric also insisted that Chile’s constitutional process would continue.

In his first speech at the UN General Assembly, Chile’s President Gabriel Boric paid homage to Salvador Allende and called on world leaders to solve social problems democratically and avoid uprisings. 

He talked about global problems that have hit Chile’s economy, condemned Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and advocated caution regarding rising US-China tensions.

When explaining the social uprising starting October 2019, locally dubbed estallido social, Boric referenced the speech Salvador Allende gave to the assembly in 1972. “In a couple of months, it will be 50 years since President Salvador Allende, before this same assembly, gave an account of the important social and political changes Chile was seeing back then.” Boric said Chile was still looking for “a path toward dignity,” even though meaningful progress has been made during the last 30 years. 

Human rights violations committed during the uprising are unacceptable and will be punished, Boric said. At the same time, he condemned frequent looting and burning of metro stations and other public infrastructure during the uprising. 

On the constitutional process, Boric said, “the way toward a peaceful and democratic solution of our country’s crisis was an agreement between the main political forces, which allowed to define a route to the drafting of a new Constitution, one that will lay the foundations of a new social contract that would allow responding in a democratic way to the citizen requests.”

In that sense, Boric said the rejection of the draft in the Sept. 4 plebiscite was not a defeat. Political forces will continue to work toward a new Constitution.

Watch the whole speech here:

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